School shamed over attacks on student democracy

Youth against the War

Press Release Wed 26 March

School students suspended for protesting against war.

School Named & Shamed

Youth against the War today named and shamed Abbey Grammar School in Newry for suspending several students for taking part in the March 5th protests against the war on Iraq. At least one student has been suspended for the maximum 50 days. Chris Gaskin was suspended for 50 days after taking part in the anti-war protest.

Youth Against the War spokesperson Gary Mulcahy said "The school stated that students who walked-out of school without parental consent would be subject to the disciplinary rules of the school. But Chris has been suspended even though he does not need parental consent, he is over 18. Due to the suspension, Chris's right to an education has effectively been taken away. The decision to suspend these students is an attack on the right to protest. Youth Against the War is demanding that Abbey Grammar drop all disciplinary action against students for taking part in the March 5th protest."

Gary went on to add " Any schools which attempt to victimise any students will be publicly named and shamed, including the Board of Governors, and followed by protests of Youth Against the War at the schools."

For more info contact Gary Mulcahy at 028 - 90232962

URGENT: Send protests to - Abbey Grammar Newry e-mail: Ask them to send a written reply.

Irish News report, 26th March:

Call for leniency for pupils who protest against the war Schools must show leniency towards pupils who leave classes to protest against the war on Iraq, according to Newry councillors. All schools in the area will be sent a letter on the matter, following a motion passed in Newry and Mourne District council. SF councillor Packie McDonald said one school had suspended 15 students over a school walk-out on March 5th. He said pupils should be encouraged to show an interest in politics and proposed writing to all local schools to appeal for them to be lenient with pupils who campaign against war. The motion was passed by 16 votes to 5, with 1 abstention.

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